bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

Two days in Chapel Hill / Durham / Carrboro, NC–Big Bend Loop

We visited Carrboro in January 2018 as part of our Big Bend Loop trip.

We specifically went to the Carrboro area to see a band we love, Destroyer, whom we followed from Asheville. A lovely bonus to this stop is that my mom, sister, and nephew live nearby and could pop over for a visit! Other than the Destroyer show, we enjoyed visiting the campuses of UNC and Duke and investigating the beer scene in this college-y area.


walking the dog by the airstream at Spring Hill Park in Chapel Hill

Spring Hill Park is pretty, wooded, quiet, and lovely; it’s the closest campground to Carrboro, but quite far from everywhere else we wanted to go in Chapel Hill and Durham. It’s a very nice park with friendly proprietors.


We had limited time to drink beer on this stop, so chose our targets carefully.

We picked Durty Bull Brewing in Durham specifically to try their Mango Lassi IPA, but they were out of it. Noooooooo! They had other good IPAs and interesting sours so we survived, but I really wanted that Mango Lassi.

beer flight at beer study durham

J learned about Beer Study while researching this area’s beer scene, and the Durham location was a hit with us for its selection of local and regional beers and jazzy live music. It’s both a bar and a store, so you can sample the many beers on tap and then choose from the huge assortment of cans and bottles to take home.


crooks corner carrboro

Our first night in town, my family came over for a beer in the Airstream (this is love: I shared one of my precious One For Yous from Burial with my sister. She was also smitten.) and then we all went to dinner at Crooks Corner in Carrboro. It’s a cute place with the feel of an old diner and pretty good Southern food.

The next night we were starving in Durham so picked up dinner to go from M Sushi. As I waited in the car for J to get the food I could tell it’s a very popular spot, and when got home and ate our sushi we understood why!

breakfast at elmo's diner carrboro

Before leaving town, we had a yummy down-home breakfast at Elmo’s Diner in Carrboro, in a neat old mill building that now houses shops, restaurants, and offices.


destroyer at cat's cradle carrboro

Destroyer played at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, a great place to see a show!

bugsy at unc chapel hill well

Despite the freezing temps, we were excited to check out our ACC rivals (J and I both went to UVA) UNC and Duke. We walked all over the UNC campus; it’s pretty, but no UVA.

duke campus durham

We took B home to the Airstream and roamed the Duke campus before our evening of beer in Durham. It’s gorgeous! The gothic stone architecture is so different from UVA’s red bricks and white columns.

before the lunar eclipse over the airstream

Early early early our first morning in town I got up to see the Super Blue Blood Moon lunar eclipse. The picture above was obviously not taken during the eclipse: I drove the truck up the hill looking for a clearing from which to view the eclipse and it just about fell apart underneath me and I freaked out and went home. No eclipse for me, and no more sleep that night from worrying about the truck!

Customer Service Gold Star

That morning we needed to find a Ford dealer to look at our poor, sickly F-150. It had been making terrible rasping noises for a while, and neither the dealer nor our neighborhood mechanic at home could diagnose the problem. We googled a million things and got a hit on an issue with the IWE check valve and hoped to make it home to get it fixed under warranty. Then things got really bad and we had to very carefully drive it to Capital Ford of Hillsborough, the only area Ford dealer who would see us on short notice. The service department was short-staffed and slammed, but Jason offered to take a quick look, described the IWE problem in greater detail, found the part we needed for a short-term fix to get us home (where we’d have to get the chewed-up hubs replaced), installed it, and sent us on our relieved way. We highly recommend Capital Ford of Hillsborough for your Ford servicing needs!


4 responses to “Two days in Chapel Hill / Durham / Carrboro, NC–Big Bend Loop”

  1. Uncle Jim Avatar
    Uncle Jim

    Oh lord, a band groupie——how long before you guys are chasing the Grateful Dead?

    1. bugsy Avatar

      Doesn’t sound so bad to me… 😉

  2. […] A driver of the timing of this trip’s itinerary was the Destroyer show at The Grey Eagle. Loved the venue, loved the show, love Destroyer so much that we saw them again the next night in our next Airstream destination! […]

  3. […] five years now, and while we’ve had little things break here and there (although our old truck crapping out was kind of a big deal) it seems the universe had been saving up all the biggies to drop them on us […]

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